We recently reported on White Denim’s May residency at The Mohawk in Austin – the result of quite a bit of warranted buzz from this fairly new band (formed from the ashes in 06). It is my pleasure to clue you in on their newest release, Let’s Talk About It, a 7” EP, also available for download on iTunes (CDs, as it turns out, are a waste of their time).
I am almost at a loss for words here, so please, pardon my French – J’aime tout Ã fait Le Denim Blanc. White Denim is a good time. A really good time. Such a good time, that your body isn’t quite sure what to make of it. At any given point during the EP, your ears are straining to pick apart the multiple layers of sound and your legs are pushing for a full-on stride. Your hips are twisting with aerobic ferocity and your arms are being swung around sporadically with clenched fists. White Denim is a fucking workout.
There are only five tracks to this EP, but each is a lightning bolt of awesome. It’s like an update of the ’60s surf rock sound mixed with a little bit of punk on psychedelics. Lead track, “Let’s Talk About It” jump-kicks things off with Josh Block’s fevered drum beat, rolling along steadily as James Petralli’s vocals enter with a howl in accompaniment to his razor sharp guitar chops. The thickness added by Steve Terebecki isn’t so much a rhythmic component as it is a tubular instrument of melody.
“Darksided Computer Mouth” is next up. It’s a garage rock track with a lot of nerdy heart. Everything seems thrown into this one – feedback, beeps and bleeps, the kitchen sink, and a chorus of unintelligible lyrics, half sounding as if being sung by a choir of children. It’s sharp and quick and contains one of the most charming moments on record for me this year, when at about 35 seconds in the group takes a break from instruments and somebody simply and invitingly asks, “Come here, you wanna sing?”
Yes. Yes I do.
The most accessible track in my opinion (though with each listen this opinion is dwarfed under the umbrella of overall enjoyment) is “I Can Tell.” It’s a hodge-podge of sounds. Surf rock, punk, ambient, Indian, psychedelic, they’re all there. There’s even a little “Stomp” work thrown in, banging on what sounds like trashcans or glass jars.
“Mess Up Your Hair” is by far the longest track here, clocking in at 4:49. It is also one of the harder tracks to put my finger on, making sure to always zig when you expect a zag. The only thing I can think is, what if Eagles Of Death Metal and Devo came together to forge the dirtiest, dorkiest rock band of all time? Yes, you’re right, it is a good time.
The EP ends with a quick forty-six second smash in the face called “DCWYW,” which translates roughly into something-something “what you want”… I think. In the end though, does it really matter? If it did, wouldn’t you be able to understand completely? I get the feeling that’s what White Denim is all about. You don’t have to understand exactly what’s going on, as long as it feels good. In fact, it’s almost more fun not having a clue about what’s going to happen next. Just keep in mind that while your body is wildly contorting, completely out of control, White Denim is laughing and having just as good a time making you move in such a way. Keep a watchful eye out, and an audibly sensitive ear open.